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Diggin' It

Dahlias are worth the effort

Growing dahlias may require a bit more effort than for some plants, but these wonderful fall flowers are definitely worth it!

By Donna Williamson / October 10, 2010

These dahlias are currently putting on a show in my garden. They really brighten fall.

Courtesy of Donna Williamson

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We received about 4-1/2 inches of rain recently, and the dahlias have responded. I just wanted to give you a peek at them.

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While dahlias can be a little extra work, in the fall they shine -- and this year, with its summer drought, they are so welcome.

My favorite is not currently blooming, so I will show it later. But these in the photos were out this afternoon, and I could not resist. These bulbs were ordered when feet of snow covered this part of the universe, and they haven't disappointed.

Of the pom-pon types (yes, that spelling is correct for dahlias!), you already met ‘Little Beeswings’ in a previous post. (Click here.) The pom-pons are fascinating with their mutltitude of close petals. The red one is almost two inches deep, while ‘Little Beeswings’ is a full three-fourths of an inch deep.

Several of these came from Old House Gardens, a wonderful resource for dahlias and other heirloom bulb varieties.

The yellow collarette is nearly four inches across and gorgeous.

Clients have told me in the past that they don’t want to be bothered with dahlias. They are missing a wonderful late-fall bonanza. These beauties are worth every penny and every ounce of effort.

Happy October!

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Donna Williamson is one of nine garden writers who blog weekly at Diggin' It. She's a master gardener, garden designer, and garden coach. She has taught gardening and design classes at the State Arboretum of Virginia, Oatlands in Leesburg, and Shenandoah University. She’s also the founder and editor of Grandiflora Mid-Atlantic Gardening magazine, and the author of “The Virginia Gardener’s Companion: An Insider’s Guide to Low Maintenance Gardening in Virginia.” She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. To read more by Donna, click here.

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